Eat Better

Whether it is Rachel Ray’s signature “Yum-O” or Emeril Lagasse’s “BAM!” we all want to make a meal that our family and friends (and yes, us too) will enjoy. Right now in the dead of winter, providing a hot homemade meal is great – I know in my house it is – but we all know that time can be an issue.

Following is a really great, healthy, warm and filling meal shared by www.eatbetteramerica.com. They partner with The Biggest Loser’s Pound for Pound Challenge that benefits the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Feeding America and other food banks across the nation. This is so easy to do. I double the recipe, add chopped Portobello mushrooms, fresh minced garlic and use beef stock instead of the sherry. I can get it all thrown together and my mess cleaned up in 20 minutes. I just set my Crockpot on low and head out for work, knowing it will be ready to enjoy at the end of the day!

Tender Turkey and Wild Rice

1/2   cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed

1/2   cup chopped carrot

1/4   cup chopped onion (1/2 medium)

1/4   cup thinly sliced celery

1/2   teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2   teaspoon garlic-pepper blend

1/2   teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

1        cup chicken broth

2        tablespoons dry sherry or dry white wine

1        turkey tenderloin (1/2 to 3/4 lb), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

  1. In 1 1/2-quart slow cooker, mix rice, carrot, onion, celery, 1/4 teaspoon each of the seasoned salt, garlic-pepper blend and marjoram, the broth and sherry.
  2. Arrange turkey slices over rice mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon each seasoned salt, garlic-pepper blend and marjoram.
  3. Cover; cook 5 to 6 hours (if slow cooker has heat settings, cook on low).

Makes two servings

Nutritional Information

1/2 of Recipe: Calories 330 (Calories from Fat 20); Total Fat 2 1/2g (Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 75mg; Sodium 930mg; Total Carbohydrate 41g (Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugars 5g); Protein 36g

Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 120%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 4%; Iron 15%

Exchanges: 2 ½ Starches; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 4 Very Lean Meat

Carbohydrate Choices: 3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
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We at Chesapeake are always inspired by our fellow Oklahomans.

In December, we issued a challenge across the state, offering to match your donations to the Regional Food Bank, up to $250,000.  You met this challenge head on, exceeding the match amount and raising valuable – and vital – funds for the state’s largest food provider to the needy.

With this in mind, Chesapeake decided to increase its 2011 gift to the Regional Food Bank to $1 million.

This $1 million donation is the largest corporate gift ever received by the Regional Food Bank.  At first blush, we were proud of this fact; proud to show our overwhelming support for an organization in which we believe strongly.  However, upon further reflection, we hope that this is just the first of many significant corporate gifts the Food Bank receives in the future.

This past year, we’ve seen Oklahoma City top national lists for fastest-growing cities, job growth rates, affordability and best places to do business.

However, one list we don’t want to top is the list of hungriest states in the nation.  Currently we’re number five, with more than one in five Oklahomans experiencing hunger in the past 12 months.

With so much recent support to the Regional Food Bank, we are encouraged that we may be able to affect real progress in Oklahoma’s battle with hunger.  Chesapeake’s gift alone will provide an additional seven million meals this year.  We hope this momentum and support for the Regional Food Bank and its work in “fighting hunger…feeding hope,” continues.

Martha Burger

Senior Vice President

Human and Corporate Resources



Three Sandwich Ideas from a Sandwich Expert

Hello again and Happy New Year friends.  As there’s not much in the way of seasonal produce to discuss this month, I’m intently focused on sandwiches right now.  In a former professional life, I was something of a giant-sandwich folk hero.  My ability to plan and construct complex, densely layered meals inside grilled ciabatta bread made me very popular in an incredibly odd and limited way.  Anyone who’s been around me at all has assuredly been informed that I, Mason Weaver, made a sandwich for Andre 3000 from Outkast.  A tofurkey sandwich, no less.  (He’s kind, humble, gracious and low-key, in case you were wondering.)  So in that spirit of hip-hop celebrity-sandwichry, here are three zany combinations to put between bread.


Mildy Mediterranean Sub

-Caramelized Onions (I add a little brown sugar and white wine vinegar – champagne vinegar is better, but it’s expensive)

-Thinly Sliced Roasted Portobello Mushrooms (salt, pepper, olive oil and an oven at 500 degrees for 5-10 minutes will be perfect, let them rest 5 minutes, then slice as you would tender meat)

-Diced Black and Green Olives

-Sundried Tomato Pesto (you can make this yourself with a food processor, a handful of walnuts, a pinch of salt and a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil)

-Split, Toasted Crusty Bread (it couldn’t hurt to brush a little olive oil on before you toast it)

The key to a beast like this is THIN LAYERS.  Don’t glop everything in sections.  Take your time and spread each layer thinly over the entire length of the bread.  If you have extra left after the bread is covered, save it and add more layers on top.  I usually try to pull some of the spongy middle out of crusty bread before I toast it – it gives you more room to add the filling.  If you really want to get “Krunk” on this one, after you’ve filled it, foil wrap it tightly and bake on 400 for another 10 minutes – the flavors will meld together nicely.  For the truly daring: make a couple of entire foot longs and cut them up for the whole family.

Crunchy Spicy Hippie Heaven

-Sriracha (Thai pepper sauce – you know… it’s red, has a green twist top… picture of a rooster on the bottle)

-Unsweetened, Natural Peanut or Almond Butter (I buy Snider Farms Peanut Butter from the Oklahoma Food Coop)

-Fresh Spinach

-Fresh Sprouts

-Roasted Sunflower Seeds

-Hearty Whole Grain Seed Bread (preferably Big Sky – locally baked and unmatched in flavor and texture)

Spread the nut butter on both pieces of bread.  Squirt an appropriate amount of Sriracha on the nut butter.  A little goes a long way, so it’s better to start with 4 or 5 drops per side and go from there (I use a lot, but I have a high pepper heat tolerance).  Sprinkle the sunflower seeds next so they adhere to your spicy nut butter.  Pile the fresh spinach and sprouts on one side and top with the other piece of bread.  Smash it down. Cut it in half and serve it with a glass of flavored iced tea – maybe an unsweetened Mango tea?

The New Tea Sandwich

-Sliced Roasted Red Peppers (I use the cheap jarred kind when I’m in a hurry)

-Light or Non-Dairy Cream Cheese

-Fresh Arugula (or roquette for our British friends)

-Pickled Carrots (if you’re industrious, these are amazingly easy to make and keep in the fridge, you can also buy them at most nicer grocery stores)

-Light Wheat Bread (again, Big Sky all the way)

Slice the Red Peppers super thin and lay them on the bottom piece of bread, atop the cream cheese.  Lay the pickled carrots sticks the opposite way so they create a checked pattern against the peppers (this builds a more stable base for the greens).  Arrange the washed and dried arugula on the carrots and drop the other piece of bread (already spread with cream cheese) on top of the whole thing.  Cut diagonally.  No seriously if you slice it square, everything will fall out of the bread.  Trust me, I’m a professional.


Good sandwiches use good ingredients. Great sandwiches are good sandwiches thoughtfully executed.

You too can be a master of the worlds between the bread.  Email me with questions on sandwiches, seasonal foods, getting kids to eat veggies, vintage English 3speed bicycles, analog tape recorders, disposable cameras and whole host of other things.

Mason Weaver

Mason Weaver

Mason Weaver (AmeriCorps Member) is our Urban Harvest Director. Mason returned to Oklahoma last year to teach kids about healthy food and pursue his passion for sustainable market gardening. He believes that teaching a child to grow, harvest and cook their own vegetables will make ours a more just and equitable society.
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Volunteering at Urban Mission

‘Twas the season for giving when volunteers swarm around the volunteer center of the Regional Food Bank, frantically packing boxes for the holiday season and a time to give to friends, family, neighbors (if you’re on good terms with them) and giving to the community.

To keep up the holiday spirit, I volunteered at Urban Mission to see how one of our partner agencies operates on a daily basis.  When I walked through the doors of the Urban Mission Food Pantry, I didn’t know what to expect when I volunteered there. Perhaps there would be hordes of volunteers packing boxes and going by myself to volunteer seemed a little daunting. It’s intimidating upsetting the established rhythm of a group of diligent volunteers. 

After struggling with the parking situation and only managing to park semi-horizontally in a vertical parking spot, I made my way through the chilly afternoon and ambled into Urban Mission. Upon entering the building I was greeted by Jamee, one of the staff members at the food pantry. I noticed to my left about a handful of people, all unrelated, sitting side by side waiting for their names to be called to receive boxes of food that would hopefully last them a month, but in reality may only last one to two weeks.

I started working immediately and Jamee was nice enough to introduce me to the staff.  It was a small staff, but just looking at the endless corridor of the warehouse I could tell they worked long hours to help the clients that come through. The warehouse is similar to our warehouse; stuffed with endless boxes of food that must be given out to clients as soon as possible.  They have volunteers packing boxes everyday from noon to 4 and warehouse staffers darting back and forth delivering boxes to clients in the bitter cold. I met Laura, a staff member at Urban Mission, and Rose, a regular volunteer and who I consider to be a lost Golden Girl.  Rose is 88 and has been volunteering at Urban Mission for almost 30 years.  Urban Mission started out as Presbyterian Urban Mission and was attached to the Presbyterian Church before they were able to move to their own facility a few years ago. 

 Rose put me to work immediately packing boxes for individuals to families of 5 or 6 people.  We would wait for printouts with the name of the client and the number of people and get to work pre-making boxes for waiting families. After packing the boxes, we greeted the client in the waiting room and directed the person to the agency dock. 

After volunteering, I took a tour with Laura, who showed me around the building. Every year, around early to mid December the Urban Mission hosts an event called the Santa Store, where children of all ages and their families can visit and find gifts.  The toys are either donated or purchased with the help of monetary donations. Children enter rooms filled with toys, miniature wonderlands if you will, and pick out a toy as well as a gift for their parents.  In the past two years over 1,066 children received toys, clothing and food for the holiday season. Their most recent Santa Store helped 162 families, 251 adults and 491 kids. 

Continuing with the tour, Laura showed me a room for their SPARK/Kids Cafe programs. The SPARK program works in conjunction with the Kids café, which provides nutrition education to children.  Students can learn about the importance and impact of healthy eating and work in a kitchen with their instructors. After the tour of the classroom I was shown the clothing room, a staple of the Urban Mission.  They receive huge amounts of clothing donations each week and volunteers, like the unstoppable Rose, run the clothing room and help serve over 3,000 people each year.

At the end of the tour I made my way back to the food pantry, made my goodbyes and thanked the staff for the wonderful day.  The Urban Mission staff asked how Food Bank staff members get everything done with such a small number of people.  We’re a staff of only 70 people, but everyone in every department is able to help feed 77,000 people every week. While I would like to tell people we’re a staff of only robots the truth is that the Food Bank is operated by dedicated individuals who believe in the mission of the Food Bank and work with a vengeance in bringing the mission to life every day.  It’s the same philosophy at Urban Mission and since its inception Urban Mission has served almost 10,000 people. Urban Mission is an important part of our network of 450 partner agencies (not counting the schools that are signed up with the Food for Kids program) that helps us bring our mission to life every day as well.

Connie Lam

Connie Lam

Connie Lam is the Marketing Intern at the Regional Food Bank. She recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Advertising.
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Football and Food Bank

Being from California, I was never really into college football.  In fact, I only attended one game at San Diego State University – the game where my roommate was crowned homecoming queen.  When I moved to Oklahoma, I thought that people who wore orange REALLY liked Halloween.  Of course, I was wrong.  My boyfriend, who is a huge OU fan, let me know how wrong I was.

While on vacation in Boston, I saw the Sooners dominate the UConn at the Fiesta Bowl.  I also thought about the last OU home game I went to in Norman – and how BIG the stadium is.  This reminded me of a blog post I recently read from David Blatt, Director for the Oklahoma Policy Institute.  Give or take a few thousand people, the food insecure (aka hungry) people in Oklahoma could completely fill OU’s Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (capacity: 82,122) AND OSU’s Boone Pickens Stadium (capacity: 60,218) four times over.

These are people who cheer for OU; these are people that cheer for OSU. These are people who need help.

For those of you who speak in numbers, you might find the US Department of Agriculture’s annual report interesting.  They found that for the 3-year period from 2007-09, an average of 15.2 percent of Oklahoma households experienced food insecurity, which means that they “had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources.”  This was the 5th highest rate in the nation, up from 14.6 percent for the period.

Read that report and try to tell me that the economy is getting better.  I’m not so sure.  What do you think?

Angie Gaines

Angie Gaines

Angie Gaines is the Marketing Manager at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. In 2005, she graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Public Relations.
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With the New Year just kicking off and New Year’s Resolutions being made, many will choose to lose weight, get back in shape and be healthy.  This is my goal and if it’s yours too, you can also help fight hunger in Oklahoma while you’re achieving your weight loss goals.  The Pound For Pound Challenge began this week, and I decided to head up a team, RFBO Champions, for the Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma.  I’ve been wanting to shed the last 10 pounds in my weight loss journey and now seems like the perfect time for me to finally be able to cross this off my “to do” list.  For the past year, I’ve been working hard and going slow with losing weight and it’s paid off.  Twenty pounds paid off, and kept off.  My goal was to fit into my clothes that I hadn’t worn in 4 years.  I had shirts, jeans and dresses.  I bought them because I loved them, but I couldn’t wear them anymore.  I’ve always had a hard time giving away clothes that I love, so I decided that I needed to get back into shape.  Now, I can fit in to everything, but I’m not satisfied yet.  I want to reach my ultimate goal.  I’m not the D1 college athlete anymore, and haven’t been for many years.  I don’t have a strength coach trying to get me to lift more weight and in essence gain weight.  I’m just a girl, and a pretty girly one most of the time, and I’m ready to feel like it.  When I lose this last 10 pounds, I’m going to go out and buy a curve hugging, head turning red dress.  Something that’s unlike me but secretly always wanted but always thought my softball legs were too big to pull off, and then have a night out on the town.

The Pound For Pound Challenge is a great incentive for me to stay on track because with every pound I pledge and shed through May 31, 2011, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 11 cents, which equals one pound of food, to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  So I’m not just losing weight for me, I’m also helping to feed hungry Oklahomans by my commitment to myself.  If you don’t want to lose weight, you can still join the Challenge and RFBO Champions.  If you maintain your weight, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate five pounds of food for you staying healthy.

Last year, the Pound For Pound Challenge helped Feeding America deliver more than 6.2 million pound of groceries to local food banks across the nation.  The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma received more than $8,000 from the Challenge.  The Pound For Pound Challenge is back for year three and with your participation; we hope it’s an even greater success!

Sign up at www.pfpchallenge.com, and make sure you join team RFBO Champions to help you stay on track.  Then join the RFBO Champions on Facebook and get encouragement, recipes and exercise tips from your teammates.  We can do this together and help fight hunger in Oklahoma!

Jill Smith

Jill Smith

Jill Smith is the Manager of Interactive Media at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. In 2008, she graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Master’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising.
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